Gail Thompson – Individual Award Nominee – 2003

Gail was one of the founding members of the Redcar and Cleveland Women’s Aid outreach support group, which is based in the rural area of the borough. Gail has fought for the last five years to recover from the effects of the violence inflicted on her by her ex-husband. The effects of the violence experienced by Gail have been widespread, and the impact was felt by her children, family and friends. For her appeal to the Criminal Injuries Board, Gail was encouraged to write down everything she could remember about the violence. At the appeal, no police evidence was produced; it had apparently been misplaced, and Gail could no afford legal representation. The appeal panel said that Gail should have reported the attack at the time; although Gail was not capable of telling anyone anything at that time. She lost her appeal, and RCWA are supporting her in continuing to pursue her claim for justice for herself and her children; they have also published a booklet in which Gail has written her own story. She has full custody of her three children; their father continues to harass them in the street and bribes them with money for information on Gail’s life. Gail is determined to get justice, and wants to continue to write and publish her experiences and support other women to do the same. Gail’s nomination acknowledges her struggle, and recognises her courage in fighting on.